It's been a while Dtoid. I'm still struggling to get my connection back. I have got a pretty big gaming cold-turkey right now. But what I probably miss the most is the midnight or early morning (bloody Yanks and their EST) chat sessions. Therefor I'm probably going to ramble on for quite a while in this blog. Shipero can attest to my drawbacks because when I occasionally have a connection I keep harassing him at his work through Gtalk. I've warned you, this is going to be a long blog with lot's of pictures as well. But I'd rather write a long blog than make a "Takeshi's ramblings part 1 of 134" blog. So sit back, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy it for it might take a while before I can speak to you again.
If you're only interested to see my stuff you can skip the next couple paragraphs and scroll down until you see a photo.
While a connection-less time sucks it's great to finally play and finish some of the older games in your collection. Or you can just convert all your spare time into 'LittleBigPlanet-level-creation-time'. I did both. Finished Fallout 3 and got my Platinum Trophy (thanks again James for both the game and the pro-tip) and created not one but two completely new LBP levels. One of 'em is a rather old fashioned game and the other one is a sequel to my first level. Which happened to be Jimbo's son's favorite LBP level. I'm still fine-tuning it. There's so much detail in some parts that it's easy to fuck it up during the creation process.
And last but not least I'm writing a children's book. Which is coming along nicely. I found out that, to me, writing is almost the same as creating a LBP level. I usually start with a really rough idea. But then my imagination kicks in. The rough sketch disappears pretty soon and is converted into something really different. You can still see something of the rough sketches in the final product but usually you'd have to look really hard to find it. With a story it's pretty much the same. I made a one sentence outline for a story. During the writing process I come up with so many other ideas that the initial idea is pretty much changed into something completely different. I find it amusing to force myself to come up with solutions for the problems I've created. I don't mean in the story itself but while I'm writing I come up with a random event, something I haven't created a solid background for. So I have to create a detour in the story to make it fit in with the rest. That's usually the way I create a LBP level too. My newest level (not published yet) ends with something rather dramatic. I don't know what it is or what it does but this way I force myself to come up with something in the next episode. And during the creation process I was doing the laundry and though "OK, let's make a washing machine". Which didn't fit in the story at that time but now it does. A great thing to speed up this process is to open a newspaper or something similar and point at a word. That word is the next thing you're going to create in your level. I'm pretty sure that if Jimbo followed the same method for his LBP levels he must have been subscribed to the 'Daily Rape'.
Here on Dtoid and pretty much every other game related website it is usually just a matter of time before someone reveals their home, setup and games collection. It took me almost two years to do get it done. Not that I'm taking photo's for two years now, it's just that I've got too much stuff to show. I was cleaning up my apartment the other day and decided to take pictures of my stuff while cleaning up the mess.
I've got the most horrible digital camera so sometimes the flash didn't work at all and it doesn't seem to like black cotton and turns it into something grey. All my black T-shirts are black, not grey. Just so you know.
I've divided everything into segments. First my setup as a whole and then different aspects like Games, Books, Music, Apparel.
Yes, that's a rather old TV. And Yes it has got a built in VCR. But I'm pretty happy with old Sony here but it is not getting any younger. As you will see in a bit, it's not the oldest TV in my household. I supports 50 and 60 Hertz so I can play European, Japanese and American games, video's, DVD's etc. My former TV couldn't.
I'm very happy with my old fashioned (read: works like a charm!) Sony Receiver. The sound it delivers is amazing and those Magnat MSP 60 speakers are pretty decent as well. I've hooked all those consoles up through the receiver. So no more wire changing. But I made it a bit easier for myself when I have to. I mounted some wheels underneath that contraption so I can move it pretty easily. Also good for cleaning. I'm going to build a new cabinet in the future but first I need to build a new bed. I love to play my games with great sound. For me there is really no need for a surround system because I always have my headphones on while playing games. Those Sony wireless headphones produce great audio and it fits like a glove. You don't really notice the headphones on your head. Once I forgot to take them off while going to the store at the end of the street. The range is amazing because I could listen to my own music while shopping.
Consoles: 60 gig Playstation 3, European PS1, Japanese PSOne, NES, Xbox, European PS2 and once again thanks to James an American PS2.
Because every Atari deserves their own TV. Which is the older one I was talking about before. This was actually our first TV and older than most of you guys. Except for Jimbo but hey, they didn't make TV's in the Stone Age now did they? I once poured a glass of water in the back because I liked how it smoked. It's still working. I painted the refrigerator a while ago.
This is what it looked like before. It was rusty as you can see, this is about halfway in the sanding process.
Books, Games, Videotapes, DVD's, CD's and some game devices. A SNES, Atari Lynx, NeoGeo Pocket, Gameboy Color and Original Gameboy. The SNES died two years ago (on Mario's birthday) I've got another one but my sister needs to bring it over from the UK. Also a Front Mission 3 action figure and a German World War 1 grenade head (that butt-plug looking thing in the middle).
This is my pride and joy. Probably the most useful and awesome thing out of my whole collection of junk. A gamers best friend. That pimp chair is so damn comfortable. Ashtray on the left armrest and my bottle of Coke on the other. I moved it to get a better picture but it sits right in front of my TV. James says it sucks to sleep in. I don't agree. I'd rather sleep in that than my bed. Which I often do. He Christened it with some good old fashioned American farts. I found the rocking chair on the street. The cushions are from my grandma's old chairs. Fits perfectly.
That was a quick glance on the stuff I own. Now we're gonna dig a bit deeper.
I love books. Not only to read them, I like the medium as a whole. The artwork on the cover, the different kinds of paper used, the smell. Yes, books smell nice. Well, your own books anyway. Especially old books. That vanilla like scent. The scent actually comes from the acid in your hands but I usually don't think about it too much when reading. I love novels but I'm more interested in non-fiction. Books on Design, Art, Games etc. I love to read about something and possible learn something. I've been a librarian for years.
I'm not gonna show you every single book I own so I made a couple of photos covering two genres.
Books on Games
Excellent coffee-table books. The artwork is beautiful. The one about Japanese Game Graphics is a bit more specific because it shows a lot of game developers talking about how they created a particular game. Interesting stuff if you ask me.
Books on Japan
OK, that's a horrible photo. A small part of my books about Japan. From Anime to Literature, from Movies to Art and from Tattoos to Literature. I've got pretty much everything covered.
I love a good magazine. This is just a small part of my magazine collection. You can find them literally everywhere throughout my apartment. On the toilet, in and underneath my bed, in the kitchen, on the dinner table, on my desk, everywhere. The ones I read are Games(TM), EDGE and the Dutch Official Playstation Magazine.
PS2, PS3 and PSP games. There are a couple ones missing but the shelves are full. I've got probably around 12 more PS2 games. But they're at my best friends place. She borrowed my spare PS2 (semi-permanent).
PS1 and Xbox. This isn't too great but I never play on my Xbox anyway. The PS1 section is mostly Final Fantasy. Plus Metal Gear and Rayman. God I love Rayman. Halo 2... ugh. I hated Bungie for getting rid of the zooming pistol in 2.
This photo is a bit useless because you can't see the titles on the cartridges. This is just a small selection. Because my SNES is not working right now I keep most of them in a box. But you can see SuperTennis and F-zero, those games are awesome! As well as the SuperGameboy. The black cartridge is Killer Instinct of course. The Lynx section is not complete as well. I never ever play on that beast. I simply can't afford 50 batteries a week. But when I do play it sometimes I usually stick to Pinball Jam (until my eyes start to bleed) and Slimeworld. Dirty Larry: Renegade Cop has an awesome title. That about all I can say.
I think of those 12 games my friend borrowed Final Fantasy X is the most notable. I love that game. I guess I've played it for more than 750 hours now. Which is insane but there's a good reason for that. When my PS2 was stolen that bastard also took my memory cards. Lucky for me he didn't take FFX so I could start all over again. When I got my PS3 I did it for the 3rd time. So 250 hours each make 750.
And one more photo for the hell of it. I usually keep everything in alphabetical order. Sometimes I sort it by genre but that doesn't look good. Satisfied now BS3Owner?
As you can see I've got a pretty allround collection of games. But I'm really in love with two specific series.
Ever since I saw the first teaser and artwork I was hooked. There isn't a single game in my collection that I've beaten more times than the first Killzone. I made my own achievements/trophies. One of them was beating the game, on the hardest difficulty, without dying once. Dead? Start all over from the beginning.
To give you a closer look at the photo and the art-book.
When Killzone: Liberation
was released I won a tour through the studio's. The guys from Guerrilla Games are one of the nicest, enthusiastic, hard working people I've met. But most of all, they love games. We've talked about pretty much every genre on every console during lunch. At the end of the tour they gave us that signed photo, a T-shirt and an book with artwork and back stories. Clance gave me that Killzone 2 T-shirt (thanks again!).
The other series I love is Metal Gear. Remember the first time you played MGS? Now that was something else right? I fell in love with the extensive detail in the stories, great character design and most of all the mind boggling game design. Meeting Hideo Kojima in person was the proverbial cherry on the pie. What a legend.
On the photo you can see, apart from the games of course, the Old Snake action figure and the Blu-ray that were part of the limited edition. A Metal Gear Saga DVD, I guess I got that from pre-ordering MGS4. I can't really remember. The Tobidacid, that weird black contraption you have to slide over your PSP to play the games in 3-D. And a limited edition card book (right corner) that came with Metal Gear AC!D. I forgot to add the strategy guides. There's just so much stuff in the games that I always play through the games a couple times and then buy the guides to see what I've missed. That and the guides made by Piggyback are works of art.
When I met the good man, he signed this. Which is now without a doubt my most priced possession. I bought the game from a kid on a flea market for 1 euro (about 1 buck fifty or something). I feel ashamed. But I deserved it, my other copy was stolen by a damn crack junkie. Together with a shitload of DVD's and CD's and my PS2 launch model.
My musical preferences cover a wide range of genres. It's probably easier to tell you what I don't like. There are a few bands however that have a special place in my heart. Which sounds a bit too sentimental for it's own good. But you get the point. I'm a fan of good solid Metal, Punk, Hardcore and Ska. You know, what I said about the heart isn't too far off really. When a band does something to me I love it. If it makes me angry, excited, sad, happy whatever. Jimi Hendrix live at Woodstock? Hell yeah! 'Destroy Everything' by Hatebreed? Yes, please. Beethoven's 9th Symphony? Nice! Very different genres but an equal amount of emotion, only different ones.
Best live-show I've ever seen? Hatebreed, Mad Caddies and Iron Maiden.
Hatebreed because it was so goddamn tight. I guess that's the right word. They've played almost two complete sets and the sound was amazing. I've ruined 1)a shirt because it was covered with someone else's blood, 2) my throat from singing along and 3)my body looked like I was attacked by a saber tooth tiger.
Mad Caddies mostly because they had such a great time. Seeing a band consisting of eight members being quite drunk and laughing their asses off while playing exactly like it sounds on the CD is a great thing.
Iron Maiden because it is Iron Maiden. No seriously. That was a show in every sense of the word. They couldn't have planned it better because right during 'Fear of the Dark' there was a fucking lunar eclipse! Bruce was making jokes the whole time. The guitar player (one of them, can't remember who) was playing his guitar as if it was a skateboard. And the weather was beautiful. But that eclipse did it I guess.
I'm not going to sum up every single band I like but there are a few special ones, just like my favorite games.
Can you name your top ten of favorite bands? I think it's pretty hard because it changes so often. Really depends on your mood or period in your life. Your cat died, you've just got a baby or whatever. There is one band however that never leaves the #1 spot on my list. That band is Agnostic Front. Their line-up changes more often than there are hookers in Amsterdam but what remains the same is the spirit of the band brought forth by Vinnie Stigma and Roger Miret. I've seen them about 11 times now but somehow they remain fresh and most of all bloody good!
I don't really know what to say about Guttermouth. I don't really know why I like them so much. I guess it's the combination of lyrics, music and the fact that they're pretty much out of their fucking mind. The fact they were banned from Canada helps as well. I stole a shoe of the singer during a show in Amsterdam. He brought only one pair with him so I traded it in for that T-shirt. During the same show everybody was throwing drugs on stage. They swallowed everything without hesitation. Not shown on the photo is my other Guttermouth T-shirt saying "I'm a dog fucker" on the front and a dog getting it from behind on the back. I was wearing it during the 'photo shoot' and forgot all about it.
Last one is the Japanese band Balzac. It's pretty close between Agnostic Front and Balzac. I think it's a split #1 spot on my Top 10. People often call them the Japanese Misfits. Misfits records handles their cd's in the US so they're not really far off but that's probably only when you hear them for the first time. I'm a big fan of the Misfits but I'm more into Balzac. Always wondered where I got my avatar from? Now you know. It's a limited edition figure made by Super7 (should ring a bell to Tomopop readers). Kubrick and Medicom also made some figures. If only those exclusive weren't so bloody expensive. Pretty cool is that they usually have weird T-shirt releases and other limited stuff. For instance you can order a T-shirt but the design is changed every 13th of the month. So, if I understand it correct, you will never know what T-shirt you're gonna get. Also they sold a 666mm (26 inch!) CD once. Probably only the case.
Shown on the photo are postcards, stickers, a poster, a bag, a bunch of CD's and DVD's and an official Fiendclub membership card which grants me exclusive pre-order rights and presents at their life-shows. There's too much stuff so I've had to take two more pics of the T-shirts.
You should at least own one T-shirt to make your family think you've lost it. This and the Dogfucker one do the trick. The members of Balzac are really kind and polite. So it clashes a bit with the music and art-work. Much like the more gruesome anime and manga being read and watched by the really polite Japanese.
While I've got much more CD's I love the looks of Vinyl. I'm gonna show you a couple in different genres.
For the ones that have a keen eye. That Specials album is the one without the song 'Gangers'. They added that song to later issues. If you're planning on buying this album better look out because they usually use this cover but sell the later issue. There is one on Amazon right now with this cover but if you look at the track listing you can see 'Gangsters'. This album is produced by Elvis Costello. Just so you know.
Isn't that bloody cool? I love the movies and I love these albums. Great music and great artwork. The songs really capture the feel of the movie. Which makes these records perfect for NOT playing them. Unless you're some psycho. No but seriously, I don't play them too often because there's just no really good moment to listen to that freaky soundtrack.
Back of the first one.
Back of the third one. I can't find the other ones over here so if anyone has them for sale or something I'll be happy to make a deal.
What can I say? I love T-shirts. I can never throw one away even if it's pretty much falling apart or washed to death over the years. I always choose my T-shirts with care and there's usually a story attached to it. I can make a timeline of my life and place all the T-shirts I own in the correct order and write a story about it underneath. It's almost like a photo album.
This is just a really small excerpt of my T-shirts. The one with the bunny is by Volcom. The best clothing you can buy for your bucks. Good looking and bloody good quality. That T-shirt is 8 years old but still looks like it's bought mere weeks ago. Faceless Bruce Lee is pretty cool too. I like that random design. The other two speak for themselves.
My MSX, My Jesus. My Beebop. My first wife beater. My toothpick dispenser.
I'm not a religious guy but that Jesus used to belong to my grandparents. I don't know what they've done with it but it's been decapitated. It's got a rather annoying habit of 'walking'. I played my music a bit too loud and it 'walked away' because of the bass I guess. I wonder if my grandparents used to love so good metal...
I love this thing. But the bugger always stops working when someone else tries it. Maybe it's a bit shy.
Well, that was about it. I'm probably never going to write a longer blog. I just couldn't keep it shorter. I still forgot a few things. DVD's for instance. But most of my DVD's are still in boxes. Talking about boxes. I didn't take a picture of all my console boxes. I've got them all. That's why my console collection is all but complete. I only want it if the box is still there.
I bet you missed one or two T-shirts huh? Yeah, I kept the best for last. Not the best picture but the best T-shirts.
Destructoid, I love you.